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“When the Cats Come Out” by ViennaCC

In his new single and music video “When the Cats Come Out,” Austrian singer/songwriter ViennaCC dishes out a familiar melody accented with a unique swing that is varnished in his uniquely experimental style, and while it’s got its share of quirky moments, I think it makes for a nice addition to his growing discography just the same. “When the Cats Come Out” is structured around its plainspoken vocal track, which acts as a linchpin for a simple string arrangement and a stock drumbeat. The star of this show isn’t in the composition itself, but in the way that ViennaCC executes it in his trademark tender melodicism. Don’t let the barebones design fool you – this is as engaging a listen as any this artist has offered us thus far, if not more so because of its freewheeling elements.

The vocal parts are more exciting and textured than anything going on in the instrumental portion of “When the Cats Come Out” is, but that doesn’t stop the guitars from delivering a memorable lick in the chorus. Some would have made the strings a lot more multilayered than they are in this setting, but while the instrumental concept that would have resulted is sweet on paper, it might have been pretty tiresome after the first twenty seconds. Instead, ViennaCC is killing it in the opening act of this single behind the microphone, which makes the absence of a bigger backing band all the more intriguing.

Production-wise, ViennaCC spared no expense in making “When the Cats Come Out” as stylish and slick as anything on the pop charts at the moment. Is it a bit overindulgent in a couple of spots? There’s no denying that, but at the same time, I think that it makes a lot of sense when we analyze the vocal specifically. I’m not kidding when I say that it’s some of the most direct singing I’ve heard from him to date, and were it not mixed with a keen attention to detail, I doubt that it would have been as crisp nor as stirring as it is here. It’s a lot more focused than what his competition has been doing as of late, but I doubt that was his sole motivation for the attention to detail.

In addition to “When the Cats Come Out,” the other tracks that comprise ViennaCC’s recent work make for a pretty good follow-up to the somewhat restrained season has scene has been having, and this single is a great sample of what listeners can expect to find in the whole of its parent discography. ViennaCC isn’t changing the game in this most recent offering, nor is he breaking any new ground creatively, but he’s nevertheless pouring all of his heart and soul into his songcraft and giving critics like myself something interesting to talk about this season. If you enjoy both good humor and a sensible pop song structure, this might be just the single and music video you’ve been waiting for as October transitions into November.

Mindy McCall



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